Will CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?
The use of cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) went through a dramatic increase over the last few years. In fact, 14% of U.S. adults (Brenan, 2020) now say they use CBD products. While the accessibility of CBD oil is prevalent, the Department of Transportation has issued a notice regarding CBD products and usage. Will CBD oil make you fail a DOT drug test? If so, what can you do to get your job back? We'll answer these questions and more in this helpful guide from American Substance Abuse Professionals.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that is extracted from a cannabis plant. Cannabis plants can be classified into two categories: hemp and marijuana. CBD comes from both types. CBD products that come from hemp plants typically have a much lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the chemical that gives marijuana most of its psychological effects. CBD products from marijuana plants contain higher concentrations of THC, sometimes as high as 30%.
Non-psychoactive CBD oil is often used to treat anxiety, inflammation, arthritis, epilepsy, and a range of other conditions. In many states, a prescription is not necessary to purchase CBD oil. However, the Department of Transportation has their own notice regarding CBD use, as outlined below.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
The production of CBD products remains unregulated. The Food and Drug Administration does not verify THC concentrations in CBD products. As a result, products labeled "THC-free" or “Low THC” may still contain more than the legal concentration limit of 0.3%. This means that no matter what type of CBD oil you purchase, you run the risk of failing a DOT drug test.
Will CBD Oil Make You Fail a DOT Drug Test?
According to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, any CBD products that contain more than a 0.3% concentration of THC are classified as marijuana. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance. Despite state laws permitting the use of recreational and medical marijuana, the Department of Transportation prohibits safety-sensitive workers from using marijuana.
The DEA recently added a limited exception for CBD products containing less than 0.1% THC. These products fall into the Schedule V category of the Controlled Substances Act. However, there is only one medication available currently that complies with those stipulations. It is call EPIDIOLEX®, and it is prescribed for two rare epilepsy disorders.
CBD products with a THC concentration above 0.3% will yield a positive DOT test result for marijuana. Even if you have never used marijuana before, the CBD could result in a failed DOT drug test. As a result, the DOT says, "Safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products."
CBD products are largely unregulated and may contain other compounds due to processing. This means that regardless of what the label says, or, what you’ve read on the Internet, the CBD product you purchase could potentially cause you to test positive. This poses a real risk to safety-sensitive workers that must pass a DOT drug test.
What to Do If You've Failed a DOT Drug Test
If you have failed a DOT Drug and Alcohol Test, there are programs available to help you return to duty. You will be required to complete a Return-to-Duty process outlined by a DOT Qualified Substance Abuse Professional. ASAP has a network of over 5,000 DOT SAPs throughout the country. Enroll now to get matched with a SAP in your area, and find out what your options are.
Brenan, M. (2020). 14% of Americans Say They Use CBD Products. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/263147/americans-say-cbd-products.aspx